Omega 3-6-9 Benefits & Differences

on October 27, 2021

What Are Omega 3s, Omega 6s, and Omega 9s?

Most of us have heard it before: “Get your omega 3s!” Then, often followed by: “Eat more fatty fish!” or “Eat more flax and chia seeds!” Or, maybe you’ve even heard about omega 3 supplements, like fish oil, cod liver oil, krill oil, and flax oil. But, what about all of the omega 3 6 9 fatty acids? Why’s there so much hype around omega 3s? For some good reasons, actually.

In general, omega 3s are pretty much the super-est of superfoods. Because of this, you’ll find items like salmon and flax seeds—both excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids—at the top of most superfood lists. In addition, studies link omega 3 consumption with some pretty serious benefits. Most notably, health benefits like a lowered risk of heart disease, decreased inflammation, cancer prevention, relief from depression, and even a delayed onset of memory problems and Alzheimer’s as we age. Yet, amazing as they are, omega 3s aren’t the whole story.

Omega 3s are just one category of fatty acids that do important work in our bodies. But, there are also omega 6s, as well as omega 9s—which are both common in vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds. And, despite the fact that they’re found in similar dietary sources, omega 6s and omega 9s aren’t the same, either! So, what’s the difference?? Here’s what you need to know about omega 3 6 9 fatty acids—and in which foods you’ll find them.


The larger the Omega number, the higher the nutritional value?

Many people think that the larger the number after Omega classification, the higher the nutritional value, that is, Omega 9 is regarded as the most beneficial Omega. This is the misunderstanding of most people about Omega. Omega is divided into Omega 3, Omega 6 and Omega 9 according to different chemical structures, and the number after Omega is actually not directly related to nutritional value.



Benefits of Omega 3

Omega 3 fatty acids are what is characterized as long-chain fatty acids. The 4 main types of these are ALA, DPA, EPA, and DHA. We are going to primarily focus on EPA and DHA as they are most commonly deficient while being the most important for overall health.

Omega 3 fatty acids are some of the most important nutrients you can put in your body. Not only are they extremely anti-inflammatory, but they actually make up some of the most important structures of your body like your brain and nervous system.


Benefits of Omega 6

The function of Omega 6 is similar to that of EPA and DHA in Omega 3. The main benefit to the human body is to maintain heart health. Although omega-6 fatty acids are important, these benefits can only reach a certain limit. If you take too much and the concentration is too much higher than Omega-3, it will have a negative impact on health.


Benefits of Omega 9

Omega 9 is a mono-fatty acid. In addition to helping to lower the "bad" cholesterol, it can also increase the "good" cholesterol. It is the only Omega fatty acid that can have such an effect on the human body. Adequate intake of Omega 9 can reduce the chance of cardiovascular disease and the risk of stroke.



Omega 3 Foods

Here are a few examples of foods with higher omega-3 content. Keep in mind, these animal-based sources provide primarily EPA and DHA : Fats commonly found in deep-sea fish, such as salmon, herring, sardines, tuna and mackerel.

Plant-based sources provide ALA : Flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, canola seeds, soybean oil, sacha inchi oil etc.

Omega 6 Foods

In general, there are some common sources of omega 6 foods—mainly vegetable oils, meat, eggs, dairy products, nuts, and seeds. Most importantly, some of these omega 6 sources, like vegetable oils, have a well-studied inflammatory effect on our bodies.

Remember, some omega 6s aren’t inflammatory, but omega 6s have an inflammatory effect in general when consumed in excess. We do need some omega 6s! But, many of us need to consider lowering our current omega 6 intake and increasing intake of marine omega 3s.

Omega 9 Foods

Almonds, avocados, cashews, walnuts, pecan nuts, canola oil, olive oil and sunflower oil, etc.

Although omega 9s are ‘non-essential fats,’ they still offer our bodies healthful nutrients and benefits. Plus, many of them are delicious! You’ll notice that many of the foods on these omega 3, omega 6, and omega 9 lists overlap. Remember, we need different fats in our bodies to function.


Nowadays, urban people generally consume excessive amounts of Omega 6, which is related to the westernization of their eating habits. Because bread, western-style desserts, fast food, and meat all contain a large amount of Omega 6, it is not difficult for ordinary people to consume it in their diet, and even excessive intake occurs.